“Polishing my social skills with one more drink and two more pills. I do not feel good; I thought by now I would.” -The Spill Canvas, Battles

I feel like it wouldn’t be right to write another post without addressing the brouhaha that took place in the comments section of this post, not by directly tackling any specific comment, but by opening up a little more about something I alluded to in this post.

I’ve struggled with depression for the better part of five years. My way of coping with things is to ignore them or repress them so that I don’t have to deal with them. If you don’t think about it and don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist. The easiest way to forget about life for a while is by self-medicating. By numbing. By escaping.

However, I don’t spend the majority of my life inebriated. I drink about 3 nights a week. I party only on nights that I drink. The majority of the time, I’m in my room, alone, avoiding everyone and everything. I’m escaping still. But I’m not numbing. When it starts to hurt too much, I go out and have drinks to make the pain go away. When I was younger, I also slept around to momentarily boost myself up, but that ultimately made me feel worse. Though, so do the substances, as they ultimately create more depression.

The one thing I’ve never done, though, is help myself. I’ve stubbornly avoided taking medication because I didn’t want to deal with the sexual side effects. I stubbornly avoided talking about it to anyone that reached out to offer help: friends, my mom, partners. I’ve pushed many people away like that: isolating myself from people when in the depths of my depression, only to have them not understand due to my refusal to talk about what was going on, so they give up trying. I found a great quote in a Salon article that described it to a tee:

Depressed people will cancel plans at the last minute and give distracted, one-word answers when you try to make conversation. They will miss their deadlines. They will offer you no solace on your own worst days. They will confound and frustrate the hell out of you. They will break your heart.

And in turn, they will push people away, like I’ve always done. I want to make it clear that while I may have a substance abuse problem, I do not have a substance dependence problem. I am not an addict, nor am I in denial about being an addict. I self-medicate and I binge, but I am not addicted or dependent. I do not use alone. In fact, I go to the bar to surround myself with people that won’t probe too much. Mindless conversation so that I’m not all alone, but without having to talk about what’s really going on.

Last week, I decided that I couldn’t live like this anymore. No, not the drinking. The depression. I know that no one will help me if I can’t first help myself. And so, after five years of resisting, I asked my doctor about medication. And I’ve begun taking it. I won’t lie and say I’m not scared– a lot of my writing and feelings come from the pain of my depression. I worry about losing that. So much of my identity revolves around my sexuality, and I worry about losing that, too. But I also know that it’s time to stop running, because there’s no way to escape your demons. You have to face them.

And so, I have.

Photo source.

This entry was posted in Depression, Psychobabble, Self Medication, Soul Searching. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. dmfNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    i really dig that picture…

    • Britni TheVadgeWigNo Gravatar
      Posted March 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Me too :)

  2. EffinSaraNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m so proud of you. That’s such a difficult step to take because it *is* incredibly scary. I hope that the medication does wonderful things for you, and that if it doesn’t that you’ll find another that will. I’ve been there, and I’m cheering you on :)

    • Britni TheVadgeWigNo Gravatar
      Posted March 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, lady!

  3. Garnet JoyceNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    It takes a lot of courage to not only say all that, but even more to try to help yourself. I applaud you for that and offer my support in any way you need. One thing to keep in mind is that there are a lot of anti-depressants on the market and they will all have different side effects on you. It may help to keep track of how you feel every day so you can see their effects. Some will only hit you in the beginning, others will take weeks or months to surface. I was on wellbutrin and after a few weeks all of a sudden alcohol had a really strong effect on me and I started losing my memories.

  4. alanaNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Good luck chicka!

  5. SarahbearNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad to see you post this and I’m glad you’re seeking help for your depression. =)

  6. KaraNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Good luck and we hope everything works out for you.
    Kara & Jess XOXO

  7. BlowJoyNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Permalink


    It’s so funny that sometimes those who “know best” (professionally, academically) have the hardest time making that phone call for themselves. Saying those words to your doctor, “I think I have a problem. I think I’m depressed. I think I need help.”

    Lexapro changed my life. Yes, my sex drive is lower. But I also realized that I was using sex to self-medicate, too. Now I have a healthier balance. Yes, less sex, but better emotions, better balance. SO worth it.

    Choose light over darkness.


  8. minaNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been on medication for my depression as well. I take Welbutrin. It’s the one anti depressant that I know of that makes it a point of not sucking away your sex drive. It’s also, however, the weakest of all the antidepressants (i think). I’m not taking them anymore. Since I moved from CA to NY I stopped taking them. Kind of made that decision on my own. For the most part, I don’t believe I need them anymore, but we shall see as time passes and I realize I am in fact, still depressed.

  9. KivrinNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Good for you! I know that you already know this, but just wanted to pass along a reminder to stick it out for at least 6 weeks or so: Most antidepressants—SSRIs, anyway—can make you feel quite strange at first, but the effects definitely lessen as your body gets used to the drug. (At least that’s how it has been for me, and I’ve used Luvox, Zoloft, and Effexor at various points over the past 12 years.) So it will probably be scary to feel so, well, numb during the first few weeks…but stick it out if you can. Give the drug a chance to really help you. *hug*

  10. aliasmisskatNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Much love and support from a faceless internet commenter. Your courage and strength show through your writing, whether it’s obvious to you or not. I hope you find your happy self :)

  11. evaNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I think you will find that as you get better, your writing will improve as well. I make much better art now that I’m happier, compared to when I was not so happy. Being able to enjoy what I’m doing and having the will to actually do it at all is doing wonders. Good luck!!! It might take some time but eventually more creativity and writing and being yourself and general awesomeness is ahead :)

  12. MargaretNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink



  13. GhouldilocksNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Good luck :)

  14. Wilhelmina WangNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    good for you – and for your loved ones. a difficult and courageous step to take, but it will probably be of great help to you.

  15. la petiteNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    I commend you for the strength you found to make such a hard decision, God knows I can’t do the meds thing.

    Rock on chick and good luck.

    -la petite

  16. JessNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    “How very Tiger Woods of you. ”

    WTF is that supposed to mean?

  17. MegNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad you made this choice, Britni. It took me some time to get over the stigma I had about anti-depressants. After a couple years on them, I’m in a better place, and I was able to start doing things that help me move away from the meds–working out, eating better, being proactive instead of reactive. This works for me–might not work for you, we’re all different–and I hope you find that place, too. It is possible!

    Oh, and no matter how much you push me away, I’m just going to keep coming back to you. Deal with it. : P <3

  18. VSK WitnessNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Truly your honesty is a beacon for anyone who reads your blog. I wish you well in your transition (as with these SSRI etc) it seems to be the transition that is the mfer. My daughter is trying to get her Lexapro dose correct, after the shrinks bungled the transition to Zoloft. Hope you get the support you need and deserve.

    BTW there was this article in the Times today. Pretty interesting if you like evolutionary biology articles, and this one is about depression.

  19. AuroreNo Gravatar
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m proud of you for finally deciding to stop running.

    As for taking medication – if you are really concerned about your sex drive you should definitely mention that to your doctor. There are medications that have less of an impact and in some cases almost none at all. I’m on a bit of an antidepressant cocktail myself – Remeron and Desiprimine (old school) and I don’t really notice it impacting my sexuality – my depression was much worse for that.

    It’s not easy to do what you’re doing – I know – but you have a chance to be a happier you – one who doesn’t numb, or hide, or hurt others and most importantly doesn’t hurt herself.

    Good luck. Times may be trying but you have people who care about you and who will listen if you need them.

  20. Vanilla KinksNo Gravatar
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    I’m so, so happy for you, and I say that coming for a place of knowledge about what it takes to do such a thing.

    I am bipolar, though I lean to the depressive side. It took me months to admit I had a serious issue with depression, and several years after that to find the right combination of medications and doctors to help me.

    I take Effexor, which KILLED my sex drive. I brought this issue up with my psychiatrist, and he threw some Wellbutrin into the mix, and magically, my sex drive returned. Don’t be afraid to experiment with medications to find the right one for you, but like someone said in another comment, it can take 6-8 weeks to feel the full effect of a SSRI.

    Keep with it, and keep at it, and trust me! It will only get better!!!

  21. MIXEDNo Gravatar
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    get it, Britni!

  22. evaNo Gravatar
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    I was on remeron for a while, I don’t recommend it. I know it works different for different people, and it seems to work for Aurore, but I know several people who went completely mental on that drug. It also makes you a LOT drowsier than ssri’s. It turned me into a zombie, and I find it scary to look back and see how much my personality changed (for the worse).

    In addition, it makes you a raving lunatic when you drink. Not the positive fun type of lunatic, but the type of lunatic that is a disgrace to themselves and everyone around, and who does things that are completely out of character for them (possibly while crying their eyes out)..

  23. angelNo Gravatar
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I wish you luck and hope you get better very soon.

  24. AmyNo Gravatar
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    You know we all love you. Good luck honey, you are very brave and I hope you know how much I admire you, not just for this but for a lot of things. Not from personal experience, but don’t they always say that the first step is always the hardest? Things can only get better! And all of those cliches…

    Lots of hugs xxxxxx

  25. PixieNo Gravatar
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    This is a really brave post, good luck :)

  26. JaneNo Gravatar
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Permalink


    You don’t know me. But I know what you’re going through (I actually wrote about it for my school newspaper two years ago:

    I know that I’m not ready for antidepressants yet, but I’m proud of you for being ready and being able to talk about your struggles. I respect you immensely, as a writer and as a person. No matter what happens – if the drugs work or if you decide to discontinue treatment – know that there are people out there who will continue to care about you and what happens in your life. Good luck.

  27. BellaNo Gravatar
    Posted March 4, 2010 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    I can so relate to your story, and thank you for sharing. People who do not suffer from depression cannot possibly relate to it, and thus have a hard time supporting and understanding those who do. I made the decision, along with the help of my parents and my doctor, to experiment with anti depressants when I was 19. It’s not an easy road. Lexapro and Celexa didn’t do the trick, and Paxil made me a royal bitch. I’ve been taking Effexor for a couple of years now and it helps me tremendously. I’m lucky though, because it has not afffected my sex drive in the least.
    But I can definitely relate to self-medicating. While alcoholism is a concern of mine, I personally have an elephant in the room that keeps me in check. But I agree that sometimes, one just wants to go out and get wasted to forget about everything for a while. (I do have to note that I am very anal when it comes to my drinking like, Ok, I’m going out, my goal is to get drunk. How am I getting home? Am I going to be with someone who can watch out for me if I get out of hand or if someone else does, etc and this frame of mind has paid off.) Sex does the same thing for me as well. I also started attending Al-Anon meetings, which I find may be beneficial because they make me turn the focus inward, onto myself, and are teaching me ways to deal with my certain afflictions, whether it be depression, isolation, abandonment, etc.
    I wish you the best of luck, don’t give up hope. There’s plenty of us out here who can relate to what you’re going through.

  28. Nadia WestNo Gravatar
    Posted March 4, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Welcome to the club!

    Took me years to accept that I should actually treat my depression with medication. All through college as a psych major I would say that meds are a great idea, but *I* didn’t need them. Other people did, but no, not me. Mind you, I had been hospitalized for depression when I was 15 for a few months.

    When I was 30 I went on paxil – what an amazing difference. A couple of years in I grew emotionally numb from it, and my gp took me off. Later, the shrink I started seeing said that a lower dose would have probably solved the issue – I was overmedicated rather than incorrectly medicated.

    Now I’m on prozac, and about a year or so in it totally killed my sex drive (but helped with the depression). I mentioned this to my shrink and he added wellbutrin to the mix – voila, my sex drive came back to normal.

    I hope you have a good doctor who will work with you to find the best drug or combination of drugs to help you. They don’t cure everything – I still get depressed, but mostly I spend 1/10th the time depressed in any one bout than I used to.

    Good luck!

  29. ANo Gravatar
    Posted March 8, 2010 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    To your journey of health. I wish you well.

3 Trackbacks

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    [...] reason that I’m seeking help is because of my rape last year. The rape was the catalyst for my depression, and now that I’m medicated, a lot of those symptoms are gone. I went in for my intake [...]

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